AN ANALYSIS OF
L. Patrick Devlin
IN THE 1980 CAMPAIGN RONALD REAGAN RECEIVED almost $30 million in federal funds. He spent $18 million of that $30 million or 60 percent of it on advertising. He spent approximately $13 million of that $18 million on television advertisements. Therefore, 70 percent of the money that Ronald Reagan spent on advertising in the 1980 campaign was spent on television advertising. In 1976 Jimmy Carter spent 74 percent of his advertising money on television. Voters may be voting less, but candidates are spending more and especially spending more on television advertising. Or are they?
An analysis of the spending for television advertising by the 1952 Eisenhower campaign uncovers some interesting comparisons with current spending. In the definitive study of the 1952 Eisenhower television campaign, Wood (1982) estimated that Eisenhower's television spending ranged from $2 million to $6 million when all television time buying—national, state, and local—was factored in. Eisenhower's national network spot buys approximated $1.5 million. In 1980, Reagan's network spending approximated $6.5 million. If these two network spending figures are analyzed in terms of the 1967 base year for constant dollars,